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Archive for the ‘Abstinence’ Category

A Letter to my Children: Please Choose Marriage

In Abstinence, Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Education, Families, father, Marriage, Media, motherhood, Parenting, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values on August 3, 2015 at 8:01 am

writing a letterby Erin Weist

Someday I hope my children make it a priority to get married. I know it will only get harder to keep the traditions of family-building alive, rampant as societies are with self-serving choices. I wanted to write a letter in hopes of expressing to them why I think marriage is important and why I hope they choose this path when the time comes.

My dear sweet babies,

I know you will only be babies for a little while. I know when this letter becomes really pertinent to your life you will be grown and moving into adulthood. I hope you are happy. You can do this by making choices that lead to overall happiness. Unfortunately the world around you is full of sophistries that try to lie about ways you will be happy. These ways are generally self-serving and focus on immediate pleasures rather than true, long-term happiness. One of the things that I truly hope for your futures is that you make it a priority to find a good spouse and create a family together.

Many voices around the world say that marriage isn’t important, that it is too binding, that people need to be free, that relationships should be fluid. Please don’t listen. Your mother (who loves you more than you will know until you have your own children) begs you to turn away from these ideas. Marrying your father was the best decision I’ve ever made and has brought me some of the single greatest blessings in this life—especially all of you! Many people will also say that you don’t need a spouse to have children, that you can co-habitate with multiple partners of any gender at any given time, even simultaneously. Again, please don’t heed these selfish lures. They may tout happiness and freedom but they are meant only to ensnare and enslave. Women & men were made to be together—mating for life, as it were! When you follow the ends of these purposes you will find happiness!

I love your dad so much and I know he loves me, but these are only words. Real love also comes through actions, not immediate pleasure. It’s the support of one another through difficult choices or trials. It’s encouraging each other to set lofty goals, both individually and as a couple, and seeing it through in attaining those goals. It’s intimacy on a much deeper level than can be found anywhere else. It’s putting the needs of another human ABOVE your own. This will be preparation for becoming a mother or father to your own children.

As an example, while writing this letter I have been interrupted several times by one of you when it is way past bedtime (no, I won’t tell you who) and each time I have been stern and annoyed at the disruption. Finally when it came to tears I realized that I wasn’t practicing what I preached—putting someone else’s needs above my own. So I asked my sweet child, “what do you need?” The reply, “a hug,” was a sweet reminder of the lessons I’ve learned as a mother about selflessness and how those actions truly bring peace and happiness. Now he is in bed and we are both filled.

Family life may not be the only place to learn these important lessons but it is specially created to be the most intensive course in learning and joy that we can ever have. I want the best for all of you, I hope you want the best for yourself and never settle for any counterfeit. I hope your father & I present to you a positive image about the joy & benefits of marriage and that you’ll want that life for yourself. We love each other and we love you. Don’t ever settle for anything less yourself.

Love, mom.

Do Parents Matter?

In Abstinence, Child Development, Cohabitation, Courts, Families, father, Freedom, Government, Marriage, Parenting, Same-Sex Marriage, Sexual Freedom, Single Mothers, Supreme Court, The Family, Values on July 31, 2015 at 11:21 am
parents with adult sonby Mekelle Tenney
Do children need both mom and dad? This has become a very controversial question. Do children do best in a home where both the mom and dad are actively involved in their child’s life? This question has been brought up several times in the debate on same sex marriage. However this concern has been dismissed in most cases based on the lack of evidence to support the claim that children do best with both a mother and father. Due to the fact that same sex marriage is a fairly new concept in America it is safe to say that perhaps that is true. We don’t have enough data on same sex couples to conduct the proper research, at least here in America. However the question of needing a mom and a dad has been asked long before the same sex marriage debate came around. Society has been dealing with the effects of the broken family long before this issue came up.
The state of the family in America.
Currently 40.6% of  babies born in the United States are born to unwed mothers
According to the US Census one in three American children grow up without a father present in the home.
Divorce rate in America is between 40% and 50%.
Over 40% of cohabiting couples have children.
48% of women cohabitate with their spouse or partner before they marry.
What difference does it make?
The following are just a few of many findings surrounding parenting and child development.
Toddlers with involved fathers are better problem solvers and have higher IQs by age three.
Children with involved fathers are 43% more likely to have mostly all A’s in school.
Children with involved fathers are 33% less likely to repeat a grade.
 Girls with involved fathers have higher self-esteem and are less likely to become pregnant as a teenager.
Studies show that by 8 weeks of age infants can notice the difference between a male and female interacting with them.
Fathers encourage competition while mothers encourage equity. Many psychologists believe that it is dangerous to have only one of those parenting styles. In order for a child to develop healthy socially as well as mentally they need both parenting styles.
Psychologists have also found that mothers and fathers communicate differently with their children. They have also found that children need both forms of communication for healthy social development.
Mothers naturally care for and nurture their children while fathers tend to play and interact. Again, both are needed in a child’s development.
What now?
With the legalization of same sex marriage The number of children without mothers or fathers in the home will continue to increase. The social science surrounding the issue of child development and the need for both male and female influence will continue to be ignored. And the children are the ones who will pay the price. What a selfish generation we have become.
Continue to support the family!
Though the statistics shared earlier about the state of the family may seem very discouraging it is important for us to remember that the family still needs advocates. Though we lost the battle on marriage there are still many other battles to fight and our involvement is critical. We must continue to stand for the family, be aware of what goes on in congress and how it affects the institution of the family, be informed, and speak up! The family needs you and your voice.

More than two Parents: Not so New and Not so Enlightened

In Abstinence, adoption, Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Courts, Diane Robertson, Families, father, Feminism, Free Speech, Freedom, Government, Marriage, Parental Rights, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values on July 29, 2015 at 3:10 pm

child 3by Diane Robertson

In 2013 California made it legally possible for children to have more than two parents. More states will surely follow suit. The diversity-in-family-structure-loving-liberals think this is enlightened. They’re working hard to bring society out of the dark ages of Married mother and father families into the “Brave New World” of many parents.

Except this idea isn’t so brave and isn’t so new. Some children have already had a similar experience through divorce and they are speaking outThe Ruth Institute is collecting stories from children of divorce. As it turns out divorced couples, remarried couples, step families, broken families, and shared custody don’t actually feel so enlightened to the children who grew up in these situations.

One such personal story, told by Jennifer Johnson, illustrates what it actually feels like growing up with 5 parents. Johnson’s parents divorced when she was about three. Her mother remarried once and her father remarried twice. Johnson explains what her life was like growing up with five parents:

“it means going back and forth between all those households on a regular basis, never having a single place to call home during your most tender and vulnerable years. It means having divided Christmases, other holidays, and birthdays–you spend one with one parent, and another with the other parent, never spending a single holiday or birthday with both parents. Imagine having each of your parents completely ignore the other half of you, the other half of your family, as if it did not even exist. Meanwhile, imagine each parent pouring their energy into their new families and creating a unified home for their new children. These experiences give you the definite impression of being something leftover, something not quite part of them. You live like that on a daily basis for 18+ years.”

So why would so many adults push for this type of family brokenness and even make it possible for many adults to have legal control over a child? It’s called selfishness. Adults want this so they can have children and have sex with whoever they please and at whatever stage of life they wish. They want this sort of life legal so their partner can make medical and educational decisions for their children. They want convenience for themselves, but not their children.

Johnson writes about a woman, Masha Gessen, a prominent LGBT activist, who grew up with a married mother and father and speaks frankly about how her children have 5 parents. Gessen bemoans the fact that there, as yet, isn’t a way for her children to have all of their parents legally:

“I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally… I would like to live in a legal system that is capable of reflecting that reality, and I don’t think that’s compatible with the institution of marriage.”

Johnson’s replies to Gessen simply calling out the truth of the matter:

“If what I had is so great, then why don’t they want it as children? Here’s my conclusion: they want it as adults but not as children. They want the benefits of the socially conservative family structure when they are children. But as adults, they want sexual freedom, or at least they want to appear ‘open minded’ and ‘tolerant’ about others sexual choices, even at the expense of children, even though they themselves would never want to live under what they advocate. It’s a bizarre sort of a ‘win-win’ for them, I guess.”

Children don’t need more than two legal parents. Society doesn’t need diversity in family structure. All children and all of society needs responsible adults who marry before having children, work daily on a loving relationship and together raise their children in stable, happy homes. It can be done and would be the source of a truly “enlightened” society!

Marriage: The Anti-Poverty Weapon

In Abstinence, Birth Rate, Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Families, father, Marriage, motherhood, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values on July 28, 2015 at 9:07 am

wedding ringsby Carol Soelberg

It was all over the news last week: “U.S. poverty heads toward highest level in 50 years.” Other countries around the world, notably Greece and Spain, continue to struggle with insolvency and surging rates of poverty. Economists and other experts point to all sorts of reasons: unemployment, the global recession, strains on government safety nets, globalization, outsourcing, automation…. But I have yet to read anything this week that points to the greatest contributing factor to poverty – the breakdown of marriage and family.

Forgotten in the conversation is the fact that marriage is the strongest anti-poverty weapon that we have! In fact, several years ago the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution pointed out that “the proliferation of single-parent households accounts for virtually all of the increase in child poverty since the early 1970s.” (1)

In 2003, noting the dramatic difference in poverty rates between married-couple families and single mother families, Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation wondered what would happen if the parents of 3.93 million children living in poverty had married. So using the marriage rates from 1960, he theoretically “married” those parents. The result: instead of 3.93 million children living in poverty, we would have 0.75 million children living in poverty. You can see the details of his analysis here.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau: A child living with two married parents is more than three times less likely to be living in poverty than a child living with either a single or cohabiting mother, or with both unmarried biological parents. (2)
 

Non-marital childbearing and cohabitation at the center of the problem

Single parent homes are rapidly becoming the norm. As the ranks of the unwed mothers climb (41 percent of all births in the U.S. and over 70 percent in the African-American community), no one seems to dare mention the critical importance of marriage. Even though much is said about the poverty of unwed mothers and their children, there is an extreme reluctance to mention pre-marital sex, non-marital childbearing and cohabitation as a focal point of the problem.

Few want to discuss how, on average, those who live together without the benefit of marriage will see a 58 percent reduction in their lifetime wealth relative to those who are married.(3) [75 percent reduction in wealth for those who never long-term partner or marry at all.] Or, that the poverty rate for children living in cohabiting households is about five times the poverty rate of married couple households [31 percent vs. 6 percent]. (4)

Few are willing to talk about the effects of divorce and its affect on wages and the economic stability of individuals, particularly women and children, nor its impact on family wealth overall.

This much we know and must talk about: 

No other social institution has ever provided or will ever provide the same level of benefits as marriage between a man and a woman. Objective studies have consistently shown that man-woman marriage is, among other things, the optimal and most effective means of (1) bearing children; (2) raising children and providing for their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual welfare; (3) transforming males into husbands/fathers and females into wives/mothers; (4) bridging the male-female divide; and (5) channeling healthy sexual activity and discouraging unhealthy sexual activity. (5)

It must be stated repeatedly: strong marriages and families are an essential part of strong and healthy economies. 

You and your family are part of the solution

A wise man has said: “No success can compensate for failure in the home.” By the same token, we directly and severely limit our success as individuals and as nations when we neglect the home and don’t see its success as a key to our prosperity!

The loss of human capital that occurs from family breakdown stunts economies in so many ways, but most tragic is the human misery we inflict upon ourselves and upon our children.

Here’s what you can do: 

1. Prepare for marriage or work at making your own marriage successful.
2. Have children and put their growth into happy, productive citizens at the center of your busy lives.
3. Recognize that no marriage or family is perfect, but strive to create and model a healthy and successful family.
4. Get educated and speak up. Family capital is a very real thing. Share the message of not only the social and religious importance of marriage and family, but make people aware of the fiscal impact of strong families.
5. If you are just promoting conservative fiscal public policy and not emphasizing the importance of the social issues, then you are missing an important part of the solution.
6. At every opportunity, advocate for traditional marriage and mother-father families. As always we at United Families International welcome and need your support as we strive to do the same.

Truth or Consequences

In Abortion, Abstinence, Child Development, Choice, Courts, date rape, Education, Families, Feminism, Free Speech, Freedom, Human Rights, motherhood, Same-Sex Marriage, Sanctity of Life, Sexual Freedom, Single Mothers, Supreme Court, Transgender, Values, Women's Rights on July 24, 2015 at 9:19 am

choice and consequence 2by Erin Weist

While a multitude of ills befall our world on a regular basis, recently very few things have aroused such passions on an international scale than the issues surrounding marriage & family. Not far behind, and related by nature, is the controversy of abortion. In wake of the recent headlines regarding abortion in the United States I have thought about why this is such a difficult issue to resolve. I feel incredibly strong about the immorality of abortion–that it flies in the face of my faith, my regard for human life and my regard for human choices. But choice is exactly where the difference lies between the two opinions. Pro-abortion advocates have touted for decades that the thing they hold sacrosanct above all else is the ability for women to be able to choose what happens to their body. But I disagree. In fact, I would argue that theirs is nothing more than a hashtag, a P.R. move, and a tightly controlled dialogue that has nothing to do with choice.

Fast-forward several decades into our sexual revolution and you will find a multitude of choices. Choices to engage in sexual activity at nearly any age (not legal at younger ages but unfortunately still made available through chat sites, phone apps and other technological advances), choices to engage with a multitude of sexual partners, and choices to experiment with various gender identities. None of these have been inhibited through legislation, allowing people the option to choose morality or immorality. We have our freedom, we have our choices. In this way I am pro-choice.

The problem is that we’ve forgotten to teach each generation that consequences come as a result of choices. Where I draw the line is when a woman makes those choices and, instead of recognizing the natural consequences that come of engaging in various sexual activities (or even engaging only once!), multitudes of people from school administrators to healthcare practitioners to politicians proclaim that she can continue to choose what will come as a result of her sexual activity.

Now this seems to be basic biology to me: engaging in intercourse leads to pregnancy. So when pro-choice advocates say they want a woman to choose what she does with her body, what they really mean is that she’s already chosen and they want women to not have consequences. They want to undo what’s already been done and be free from natural biological processes.

What a great disservice this has done to entire generations of people! To think that you can make choices and be free from consequences of those choices flies in the face of every natural process on earth! Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. You absolutely cannot expect to act with no repercussions–we reap what we sow. To abandon this basic principle on which the earth turns is complete folly. So what we end up with is a selfish, uneducated populace that doesn’t recognize that the choice that has been made to engage in intercourse has now produced another being who is blameless but regardless must now be considered as part of the equation.

Once a woman is pregnant her choices are not merely her own consideration now. Granted, in the case where a woman is impregnated against her will, there needs to be greater compassion and public dialogue on how to handle such delicate cases, including considerations of how to care for the mother & child in such undesirable pregnancies, legal or criminal action to be taken against the predators, and more.

Many of these issues are far from simple but one thing is clear. Laws are meant to give freedom to live after the pursuit of happiness for all, including curtailing behavior that inhibits anothers’ freedom. Once someone has made a choice that involves another life form, laws need to be crafted to protect that life form and not simply the woman seeking to live without consequence.

What’s New at your Kid’s School?

In Abstinence, Child Development, Choice, Education, Families, Free Speech, Freedom, Gender, Gender Identity, Government, Homosexuality, Human Rights, Parental Rights, Schools, Sex Education, Sexual Freedom, Sexual Orientation, The Family, Transgender, Values, Violence on July 13, 2015 at 3:45 pm

You're teaching my child what?by Rebecca Mallory

Remember back in the olden days when you were punished for doing something wrong in school? Remember when the really bad guys were suspended for fighting, stealing or cheating? Remember when you could opt out of Sex Ed if you felt uncomfortable? Well, times have changed. Many school policies have loosened standards to the point that your child may not be safe at school. So as you’re enjoying your summer on the beach, in the mountains, or in your own backyard, consider these examples before you send your kids back to school for another year.

I have a friend who’s kids go to a public school in Virginia. Her daughter came home one day and handed her mom a paper from the school informing parents of upcoming sex education content. The gist of it was that “since children before the age of 13 can’t really identify with a particular gender, we encourage all children to explore and experiment”. Really? And who gave you permission to do that? The Fairfax County school district will include “gender identity” into the mandatory curriculum which will include homosexuality and transgenderism. Parents may not opt out of these programs which have been moved from the Family Life Education curriculum to health classes which are mandatory. Convenient, huh? There will be no “girls” or “boys” bathrooms either. Students can use either that they feel they identity with.

In Lafayette, California some high school kids are taught by employees of Planned Parenthood. After taking these courses, students reported to their parents that they felt pressured to have sex. These “instructors” advised and encouraged students to experiment with oral sex, condom use, contraception, intercourse, etc.  Abstinence? No way. Planned Parenthood is allotted more government goodies the more promiscuous kids are. Why would they encourage abstinence when that would put them out of business?

Sex education is not the only questionable content area you should be aware of. Common Core math standards actually allow 5 as the answer to 2+2 as long as the student can “show” their work. Common Core math is so confusing that parents have a difficult time helping their kids do homework. Classical literature is a thing of the past being replaced with books like Nineteen Minutes“Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Piccoult. Unbeknownst to parents, this book contains graphic language of two teens engaging in rough sex. (The Blaze May 6, 2014).  And now with the recent Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in every state of the Union, you can bet further explicit content will be forced upon our children to make them conform to this liberal agenda.

Liberal policies have largely snuffed out encouraging students to think for themselves. In the past, standard literary curriculum included classics such as “Moby Dick”, Wuthering Heights”, and “To Kill a Mockingbird”. These pieces teach the reader critical thinking, how to analyze literature which contributes to the human experience. These classical standard works have now been replaced with non-fiction governmental handbooks that supposedly “prepare the student to go to college” but do not allow student to think for themselves. Critics have called it nothing but indoctrination. Unfortunately, these are not the most frightening changes.

Many schools in New York have adopted a new “progressive” discipline program where students caught stealing, cheating, doing drugs or even attacking someone will not be suspended. Now they will be sent to a “talking circle” where they can discuss their feelings.  “Convinced traditional discipline is racist because blacks are suspended at higher rates than whites, New York City’s Department of Education has in all but the most serious and dangerous offenses replaced out-of-school suspensions with a touchy-feely alternative punishment called “restorative justice,” which is not punishment at all- it’s therapy. The only problem…they backfire everywhere they’re used because they make schools less safe. (New York Post,  March 3, 2014) Children should be allowed to have school choice and go where the best teachers are. But liberals fight school choice all around. Why? Because of unions and where the money flows. The poor are the ones who suffer most from these liberal policies.

These are only a snippet of what is happening to our public school system. I strongly encourage you to find out what’s going on in your school. Curriculum and policy seem to change with each new administration. But what happens to those  children who were subjected to those now failed policies? It comes down to taking responsibility for our own kids. No longer can we sit idly by and merely hope for their success or that they will be safe each day. School will start again before you know it America. Take notice!

Marriage is Dead? The Case against “The Case Against Marriage”

In Abstinence, Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Divorce, Families, Feminism, Free Speech, Freedom, Government, Health Care, Marriage, Media, Meet UFI, Parenting, Research, Sexual Freedom, Single Mothers, The Family, Values on July 7, 2015 at 1:21 pm

Newly Married Couple ca. 2003

“Marriage is dead,”. . . or, at least,  no longer necessary was the Nietzchean-like declaration of two young, female writers in Newsweek.  In an article entitled “The Case Against Marriage,” Jessica Bennett and Jesse Ellison lay-out with dismissive nonchalance, and not a small amount of arrogance, the various reasons that they, and women like them no longer need marriage. “Once upon a time, marriage made sense,” they write.

“It was how women ensured their financial security, got the father of their children to stick around, and gained access to a host of legal rights. But 40 years after the feminist movement established women’s rights in the workplace, a generation after the divorce rate peaked, and a decade after Sex and the City made singledom chic, marriage is–from a legal and practical standpoint, anyway–no longer necessary.”

Well, from a “legal standpoint,” they may be correct. With the advent of no-fault divorce, and a growing welfare state, singledom is no longer legally disadvantaged, and as they claim, may be advantaged in some ways. However, from every other standpoint–practical or otherwise–they could not be further from the truth. Legal structures and societal trends may obscure this fact, but the truth is traditional marriage benefits everyone–men, women, children, and as a result, society. Marriage is in fact necessary. Why? Simply put: because marriage produces the best results for society and especially for women.

The danger is that the “Marriage is dead” crowd, so aptly represented by Bennett and Ellison, is getting louder, and with changes in public policy increasingly disadvantaging the married, and society increasingly glorifying “chic singledom” this crowd is becoming more persuasive. Fortunately, the facts are on the side of marriage. So please indulge us as we take on Bennett and Ellison, point by point, in our case against “the case against marriage.”

  1. Marriage is no longer necessary for child-rearing or, at least, society no longer expects women to be married to have children. Bennett and Ellison point out that the social stigma against marriage disappeared a long time ago, with 41 percent of births being to unmarried mothers. They also make the claim that this can be an advantage, for in Scandinavia, where unmarried parents are the norm, parents actually spend more time with their children. What Bennett and Ellison seem to forget are outcomes.


Yes, the social stigma against single parents may be gone, but the negative consequences for children are not. Study after study has shown that children living with a married mom and dad are better off. They are more likely to have better health, fewer behavioral and emotional problems, better cognitive and verbal development and greater education and job attainment. All the statistics are clear, traditional marriage is better for children.

As for the parent with child time ratio, if their facts are correct, Scandinavia would be the exception, an exception enabled by a cradle-to-grave welfare state in which the government compensates for the financial and social instability inherent to unmarried child-rearing. The more children are raised out of wedlock, the more government welfare programs are needed to compensate. That is a simple fact. And with government debt rising around the world, this is a responsibility most governments simply cannot afford.

  1. Marriage is no longer necessary to engage in sexual relations. It is true that many, some would argue most, no longer wait until marriage to engage in sexual intercourse. Bennett and Ellison fairly accurately, if a bit glibly, express the general attitude: “And the idea that we’d ‘save ourselves’ for marriage? Please.” Yet, as mainstream as this attitude may be, it is not one they should be touting as a reason to dispose of marriage.

No matter what societal mores may be, pre-marital sex leads to negative outcomes. It leads to more out-of-wedlock childbearing, more STDs, more violence in relationships, more mental and emotional trauma to women, and cohabitation contributes to a higher divorce rate–and that’s just the short list of the “contributions” of pre-martial sex. There is nothing about this trend that is healthy and good for society.

  1. Government programs and legislation no longer benefit the married, and probably advantage the single. Bennett and Ellison rightly point out that under current governmental policy; it sometimes doesn’t pay to be married. Unmarried couples have nearly all the rights of married couples, “federal law favors unmarried taxpayers . . . and under President Obama’s health plan, low-earning single people get better subsidies to buy insurance.”

But the duo forgets to mention that 75 percent of the $150+ billion dollars spent annually on various government welfare programs goes directly to single parents and individuals in non-traditional relationships. On the other hand, marriage is financially advantageous in nearly every other way. Here’s just a few facts:

– Marriage increases wealth over one’s lifetime. Among couples who marry and stay married, their net worth increases on average by 16 percent with each year. Over a lifetime that is, on average, a 93 percent increase in wealth over those who remain single.

– For those in poverty, particularly, marriage is even more important financially. According to one study, seventy percent of never-married mothers would be able to escape poverty if they were married to the father of their children.

No government program can tout such success in alleviating poverty. So government programs may not directly benefit the married, but the married are still better off financially, even without tax breaks.

  1. Women are not happier in marriage. Well, this one is just blatantly false. If you would like to talk superficially about marriage, as Bennett and Ellison do, you can certainly cite enough male shortcomings to discourage any woman from wanting to marry. But the truth of the matter is evidence indicates that both men and women are happier in marriage. Statistics show that married people are happier and wealthier than widowed, divorced, separated, or never-married people across the board. And not only are women happier in marriage, they also experience lower levels of violence, poverty, depression and emotional trauma. Not to mention, they also enjoy better sex lives and live longer than single women. So the amount of housework they do weekly may increase due to the simple fact of being married to a man, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.
  2. Humans are not made to stay together for a lifetime, as illustrated by soaring divorce rates. “With our life expectancy in the high 70s,” write Bennett and Ellison, “the idea that we’re meant to be together forever is less realistic. . . . Healthy partnerships are possible, for sure–but the permanence of marriage seems naive, almost arrogant.” Let us suggest that what is “arrogant,” is assuming humans are not equipped for lifetime commitment (against centuries’ worth of evidence to the contrary) on the evidence that we are living a little longer and divorcing more often.

The truth is extended longevity accounts for only a tiny fraction of the increase in divorce from 1965 to 1980. And more importantly, over 70 percent of all people who have ever been married are STILL married to the same person. The other 30 percent are part of a marry-divorce, remarry-divorce, remarry-divorce pattern that drives the overall divorce rate to around 50 percent.

So perhaps a more accurate diagnosis of the problem is not human nature, but the unrealistic expectations on the part of a minority who continue to marry and remarry. Bennett and Ellison, themselves, identify that expectations of marriage have changed. “Young people today don’t want their parents’ marriage, says Tara Parker-Pope, the author of For Better–they want all-encompassing, head-over-heels fulfillment: a best friend, a business partner, somebody to share sex, love, and chores. In other words, a “soul mate”–which is what 94 percent of singles in their 20s describe what they look for in a partner.” Such expectation would doom any relationship to failure because they are based on selfish gratification which is a number one contributor to divorce. Seventy percent of the population has learned that real fulfillment comes through years of sacrifice and service as soul mates are created–not found!

Conclusion

Jessica Bennett and Jesse Ellison in “The Case Against Marriage,” aren’t the first to set out to disprove the benefits of marriage. In fact, such attempts are almost as old as marriage itself. A very inclusive study of this nature was attempted by a well known anthropologist of the early 1900’s named Joseph Daniel Unwin. He too set out to prove that marriage was irrelevant and even harmful. In his research he chronicled the historical decline of 86 different cultures and was forced to conclude that only marriage with fidelity could lead to cultural prosperity. In fact, he said, “Once a society departs from a social norm of absolute marital monogamy, social chaos ensues within three generations!”

United Families International acknowledges Unwin’s findings and we dedicate large amounts of time and efforts in protecting the institution of traditional marriage as the most basic unit of society around the world. Join us in this effort!

To see a list of studies documenting the importance of marriage as discussed above, go here. Or visit UFI’s website to see UFI’s Guides to Family Issues: The Marriage Advantage and our guide discussing the impact of Cohabitation.

What Father’s Need to Know

In Abstinence, Child Development, Diane Robertson, Drug Use, Education, Families, father, Marriage, Parenting, Research, The Family, Values, Violence on June 17, 2015 at 9:29 am

Germany, Bavaria, Munich, Son (2-3 Years) kissing his father, smiling

by Diane Robertson

We need fathers. The politically correct modern notion that as long as a child seems loved and cared for, then it won’t matter who raises the child is just wrong. Children need fathers. Society needs fathers. Mothers need fathers.

For years fathers have gotten a bad rap. They are often portrayed as either aloof workaholics or silly and wimpy. This needs to change. Study after study has proven the importance of a father’s presence in the life of his children and how that importance extends to the health of every society.

Fathers need to understand their importance. How can we expect men to stay and raise their children when they are constantly told they aren’t necessary?

British researcher Michael Lamb notes that negative stereotypes about fathers can have consequences. “Fathers can hardly be expected to maintain a belief in their importance when they are continually being told of their irrelevance, other than as economic supporters.”

Nothing could transform society as substantially as putting the father back in the home. This will not happen unless the majority of people give fathers the praise that is their due.

Statistics show that boys without a father in the home are more aggressive and are much more likely to engage in anti-social behavior. Girls without a father participate in early sexual activity, and that fatherlessness is the number one indicator for teenage pregnancy.

This father’s day let us remember that we really, really do need our fathers and let’s start telling them that.

Yes! Family Love is Possible!

In Abstinence, Child Development, Choice, Drug Use, Families, father, Freedom, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, The Family, Values on May 26, 2015 at 1:08 pm

family forgivenessby Nathalie Bowman

I write what’s in my heart. I don’t study statistics or research papers. I write what I know to be true. As this is my last blog post for United Families International, I want to share some thoughts from my heart about families in hopes it will be inspiring and helpful to you.

Children need a present, loving mother and father. Both roles, male and female, are vitally important for the well-being of a child. Children raised in a home where a loving father and mother work together to overcome challenges and give their children love and open communication are much further ahead in their ability to become successful adults as they  experience new life challenges.

Families face complicated issues in our world. Financial stress, loss of a loved one, addictions, physical and mental health challenges are just a few. In spite of the crazy stress of our world, the family unit was designed to be a sanctuary of love, forgiveness and fun.

Imagine the family unit as the first and most important place for your children to learn the beautiful feeling of being loved, as well as the feeling of failure and disappointment. You as the parent have the perfect opportunity of nurturing your children through their mistakes and shortcomings, redirecting them through teaching correct principles and giving them another try. Everyone in the family will make mistakes, including mom and dad. What a wonderful invitation that is, to learn forgiveness and to let go of control, manipulation, and pride.

As parents, it’s easy to use manipulation and coercion as tools for discipline because we want to make our children do as they’re told. They need to know what’s right and wrong, what behavior is good and what is not tolerated. However, this kind of treatment is damaging to the child and to the parent. At some point, the child (likely teen) may become sick of the control and manipulation and will fight back through rebellious actions such as drugs, sexual relationships, pornography, or any other way they can get back and prove they have freedom to do whatever they want, and are mature enough to handle it. Or, the response of the child  may be depression and hopelessness.

Manipulation and control is damaging to the parent as well as the child. When parents resort to manipulation and control, it creates more need to be right and pride steps in, creating an inability to forgive and start fresh. After all, “What I say stands. Don’t ask why. Because I’m the parent, that’s why. Just do as you’re told.” Instead of looking the child in the eye, feeling their soul, understanding their need to be loved, and openly communicating with their child, the parent dismisses the child in favor of their own need for power. This can become a negative cycle for the parent when they realize they’ve done wrong, but don’t have the courage to apologize and they feel guilty about their actions. Then it happens all over again and pride reigns supreme.

 

Imagine for a moment, if mom and dad together understood that no home and no child can be perfect, and that each person in the family has valid needs. Imagine that the parents value their children more than they value what their friends and neighbors think of their parenting and their children’s behavior. Imagine a family where the children know they are loved, even when they make mistakes, and they are given opportunities to start over and try again. This family has boundaries, for sure, but they are governed by love, not control.

 

A story which illustrates this principle of love and boundaries impacted me years ago. There was a father who was looking forward to his upcoming date with his teenage daughter. It had been on the calendar for several weeks and both father and daughter were looking forward to their time together. But the daughter had made a bad decision and violated a family rule a few days before their date. When it was suggested that their date be cancelled due to the daughter’s behavior, the father stated emphatically that nothing his daughter would do could take away his love for her, and this date was about his relationship with his girl, not about her bad behavior. The daughter was disciplined according to the pre-set consequences they had previously established for that specific behavior, the father daughter date was held, and the family boundaries were kept in tact. In the end, the date they shared worked wonders for the girl, and increased love and trust in their relationship.

Many parents have a difficult time loving and creating this kind of environment in their family, because their own family was dysfunctional and void of much love. I was one of those. I spent years as a mother in the blackness of hopelessness and depression, wondering how in the world could I create love, trust and fun with my children when that wasn’t my past experience? If you wish you could have more love, but you just don’t feel it, please know there is hope for you. The anger, anxiety, hopelessness, lack of confidence and void of love can be healed. Keep searching for your answers. They are there for you. You are loved and God desires the success of your family. Don’t give up. Your children need you and are willing to forgive when you make a mistake. Talk to them, open your heart for your little ones to show you what love is. You are worthy of love. Receive it.

The above paragraph may not apply to you. That’s ok. You are more ahead of the game than some of us. There is room for improvement in all families, and I am grateful to know now, after many years of suffering, that the family unit can be the most beautiful place to experience love and happiness. It’s available for your family as well! (For some solid, detailed ideas of how to achieve this love, please see my previous posts about “living love”)

I want to thank the readers of this blog. You are dedicated to the cause of the family and your own personal improvement. It has been a joy and blessing to write for you. I am full of  gratitude to UFI for allowing me to learn and be a part of their team. This is my final blog post for UFI, as I will be creating my own blog and growing my business to mentor families. Thank you!

 

Thank YOU Nathalie!  Our readers are going to miss your insights and wisdom!  We wish you the very best in your new ventures!    United Families

 

Marriage, the Kitchen, and the Bedroom

In Abstinence, Child Development, Cohabitation, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Drug Use, Families, Feminism, Gender, Human Rights, Marriage, Media, Meet UFI, motherhood, Parenting, Research, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values, Violence, Women's Rights on April 9, 2015 at 9:38 am

woman in the kitchenTashica Jacobson

Laura Bunker’s recent UFI alert struck a cord with me, and I haven’t been able to get her message out of my mind. Not only did it bring up this year’s trip to the UN, which brought up wonderful memories for me, she quoted Kate Gilmore’s shocking comment at the CSW side event.

We discovered that for millions and millions of women that marriage is not much better than an arbitrary detention cell; that the kitchen is a torture chamber; that the bedroom is a site for the gravest of human rights violations.”

While it would be false to say that every marriage and family situation is good, taking the other route and advocating against the marriage institution is even more destructive. I bring up the following points in defense of the institution that can and will bring about the most good for society, if we promote strong marriages and families.

Marriage

Marriage is more than a piece of paper and it’s more than a private relationship, it is a public commitment and responsibility for one another. And it should always be viewed as more than just one individual’s happiness, even though that is part of it.

Marriage promotes many benefits to many different people. It benefits the couple and their children, and it also benefits society. And when marriage is entered into in a responsible way these benefits are even more pronounced.

Married couples are typically better off financially, physically and mentally. And they are able to fully invest in a relationship that is protected by the promise of permanence. Another benefit is pooling: couples bring their abilities, income, and skills together. And then these tools benefit both parties rather than just one individual. Overall happiness is increased by marriage, which in itself promotes positive change in lives.

Children do better when raised by their biological married parents. They do better in school and have better relationships with their parents, while the likelihood of drug use and delinquent behavior decrease.

These benefits then transfer over to society, because when the individual people benefit, the society also improves, and people have more time and resources to devote to bettering the community.

Kitchen

The kitchen is actually my favorite room in the whole house. Do I cook? NO, but it’s so much more than cooking. Growing up, the kitchen was the center of my home. It was where we gathered together at the start of our day and where we finished our day. It was where we greeted each other through the comings and goings. It is one of the things that brought us together as a family.

Research has shown the benefits of the family meals together. These benefits range from better academic performance to lower risk of delinquency and depression. Kathleen Ferrigno, the director of marketing for CASA said, “The magic that happens over family dinners isn’t the food on the table, but the communication and conversations around it.” And the same could be said for the kitchen as a whole. It allows ample opportunity for family members to connect with one another.

Time in the kitchen also allows time for all members to contribute and work together. Family work has changed over time and what used to be time together, is now typically isolation. That is what needs to be avoided when doing kitchen chores. It should be a time to remember your family and the service that you are doing for them and a time to work together. Kitchen chores are one way children can feel like they are part of the family, even if they don’t enjoy completing them.

Bedroom

The bedroom and intimacy shared between husband and wife can be a source of conflict in marriage but we also need to keep in mind that it is also a way to bring a couple together and unite them in a way like no other.

When intimacy is shared within a marriage, with care and concern for the other, it enhances a marriage. And because the couple has already made the ultimate commitment to one anther it provides a safe environment to be vulnerable.

In his book How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk, Dr Van Epp describes the relational aspects of sex. “The primary reason why sex is always relational is because you cannot separate your body from the rest of who you are.”(p.289) meaning that casual sex is not beneficial. Sex needs to be allowed in the context of a relationship with the maximum commitment, which is the marriage relationship.

Marriage actually improves ones sex life and studies have shown married couples are actually more satisfied with their sex life. Access to partner, commitment, exclusivity, all contribute to the increased satisfaction. Care and concern for each other throughout all parts of married life contribute to care and concern in the bedroom.

 All parts of family life play an important role in strengthening the family and society, but they also add to individual safety, security, and happiness. This is why we need to continue to promote healthy families. Despite the opposition married intact families do continue to achieve the best outcomes for individuals.

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